Does my Child have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
It can often be difficult to distinguish between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and ‘normal’ child behaviour. It is common for children to be highly active, especially when they are of a young age. But what can we do if we think there’s something more complex going on?
This article has been written with the aim to help parents identify signs of ADHD and the steps they can take in order to seek support.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble with concentration and may act on impulse. ADHD may have an effect on a child’s success in school, as well as their ability to form relationships. For example, your child may find it difficult to concentrate and control what they say or do.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Often, the symptoms of ADHD are noticeable by the age of six. Remember that it’s completely normal for your child to display a few of these symptoms, and in these cases, it is not likely to be ADHD. However, if a number of symptoms are shown in a variety of situations (e.g. school, home and in public) it may be worth looking further into.
The symptoms of ADHD can be categorised into two types of behavioural problems: inattentiveness and hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
More often than not, people with ADHD experience problems that fall into both categories, however, this is not always the case. The main signs of behavioural problem are listed below:
- A short attention span and easily distracted
- Making careless mistakes, for example in school
- Forgetful or misplacing things
- Unable to listen to, or carry out, instructions
- Constantly changing activity or task
- Showing difficulties with the organisation of tasks
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
- Being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
- Constant fidgeting
- Excessive physical movement
- Being unable to wait their turn
- Interrupting conversations
- Excessive talking
- Acting without thinking
- Difficulty engaging in quiet, leisurely activities
What do I do if I think my child has ADHD?
There are no specific tests for ADHD however diagnosis can be made by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Assessments will often include taking a detailed developmental and psychosocial history, child observations and standardised questionnaires/tests.
If you feel that your child would benefit from further assessment, or you are seeking further support, please get in touch with My Family Psychologist for a consultation or a confidential chat about how we can help.
NHS, (2020). ADHD Retrieved from
Healthline (2020). 14 signs of ADHD. Retrieved from
Great Ormond Street Hospital (2016). ADHD Retrieved from
NHS Inform (2020). ADHD Symptoms and treatments. Retrieved from